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Ask an Expert: Is It Important to Speak English?

February 11, 2022
Linzi Nield
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We received so many great questions at our career summit, The Global Engineer. Many of them focused on skills and experience, but we also received a lot of interest in English-speaking skills. 

Below are answers from Terminal’s Liliana Carbono, Talent Acquisition Partner, and Diego Sicillia, Sr. Talent Acquisition Partner, on speaking English in a remote role as a software developer. You can find the full replay of the event here, including the full Networking session with Diego and Liliana.

Do Terminal job candidates have to be able to speak English?

Liliana: Yes, all of our roles with US-based tech startups require business proficiency with English.

My English is not as fluent as I would like. How do you deal with language limitations?

Liliana: We really emphasize great communication skills instead of only looking at English proficiency. If you have intermediate-advanced English skills, you can communicate about your experiences and projects, and you can have a simple conversation with a hiring manager or us, we are happy to connect you with an opportunity. And from there, you will improve your English proficiency by working with Canada or US-based teammates. A willingness to learn and improve fluency and vocabulary is important.

Is it possible to improve English speaking skills while working with a global team without affecting productivity? How is it viewed from the company perspective?

Diego: Being a super fluent English speaker is different from being an effective communicator. Try working on connective phrases – ”In my experience” or “I want to take advantage of” – these are the types of things that will help you have a better conversation.

Learning any language is about practice. Within three or four months of landing a new role, you will improve your fluency. 

Do you offer English speaking classes or training through Terminal?

Diego: Once an engineer finds a role, we do offer learning and development programs, including some for language. 

Create a profile with Terminal today.

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